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Advance Mother-Daughter Health & Literacy in Kenya



Our goal
Advance Mother-Daughter Health & Literacy to Build Healthy Communities
The Challenge

The Problem

While the national adult literacy rate in Kenya is around 72%, there are significant gender and regional disparities hidden in this statistic (UNICEF, 2013). Women living in rural areas are the least likely of any group to achieve reading and writing proficiency (UNICEF, 2013). Moreover, rural girls make up the majority of those out of school. This low educational attainment is due to multiple factors, including lack of family funds, community and family bias in favor of boys, difficulty passing national exams, undervaluing of education and cultural practices such as early marriage that prevent girls from remaining in school and restrict their capacity for success.

On the health front, the percentage of women aged between 15-24 years in Tharaka who have comprehensive knowledge about HIV prevention was only 22% (UNICEF, 2008). Moreover, a 2015 report from the Kenya Ministry of Health found that, in a given year, half of all the people in Tharaka will suffer from Malaria.This leaves women and their children extremely vulnerable to transmitting and contracting life-threatening and debilitating diseases.

In these ways, rural women and their daughters are at a great disadvantage in terms of educational attainment and living healthy lives. Any genuine attempt to address poverty in Kenya must address the issue of illiteracy and health, focusing in particular on the most vulnerable groups, women and those in rural areas.

How WGEP Helps

School attendance rates vary according to region and gender, but they tend to increase with the educational level of the child’s mother (UNICEF, 2013). By providing mothers with literacy classes and engaging reading activities, WGEP instills in these women a love of reading and learning that they will then pass on to their daughters. In the long term, this will generate a ripple effect, with women acting as mentors for their daughters who will be more likely to stay in, and succeed in, school and to raise literate and healthy children that will bolster the entire community.

Moreover, WGEP provides health workshops on topics ranging from reproductive health, nutrition and transmission of diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria. In this way, our approach comprehensively addresses the complex intersecting issues of education and health.

WGEP's Measurable Impact

Our Adult Literacy program in Kenya reaches around 350 women each year. This program provides literacy training to mothers who wish to better support their daughters in school, act as role models for their daughters and to improve their own lot in life. In addition to reading and writing, participants also learn basic numeracy, dictation and composition. The women also discuss such topics as personal health and hygiene, the importance of community development and women’s leadership within their communities.

Our Health Workshops reach roughly 400 mothers and daughters in Kenya each year. Workshop and meeting topics range from discussions of personal health and hygiene to the importance of prevetion and early detection of illnesses or disease; discussions on tuberculosis, reprodutive and sexual health, HIV/AIDS, and genital cutting. In addition to physical health topics, workshops also discuss issues related to mental health such as gender identity and body image.

Learning how to protect myself and my daughter against illness and disease has made us healthier and more active participants in the community. She misses less school and I am able to help my neighbors and participate in important community meetings.

Cost Breakdown

Item Cost Qty/Ppl #/Times Cost in Kenyan Shillings Cost in USD
Writing Materials & Books 350 50 12 210,000 $2,100
Instructors 3,000 2 12 72,000 $720
Health Workshop 50,000 1 2 100,000 $1,000
Health Brochures 400 50 1 20,000 $200
TOTAL COSTS       402,000 KES $4,020

*Based on exchange rate of 1 USD = 100 KES

Please help WGEP advance our mission of ensuring that Kenyan mothers & daughters can stay healthy and in school by donating to this project and sharing this page with your friends!

Questions? Feel free to email us at [email protected]


See how far we've come

Our milestones
  • David

  • Darcy

  • Clare

  • Ken

  • Carol

  • William

  • Jessica

  • Gabriela


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